SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the release of an intriguing new recording, introducing the melodious, rhythmically vibrant choral music and songs of Penelope Thwaites. Featuring 19 premiere recordings, From Five Continents celebrates a lifetime of making music around the world to showcase Thwaites' distinctive compositional signature. The album's centrepiece, a moving new Missa Brevis, is coupled with four Psalm settings, songs influenced by the sounds of Indian and African music, folk-styles from the Americas and an evocation of the vast Australian outback. From Five Continents features three outstanding singers venturing into new musical territory. Making their debuts on SOMM are Carolyn Sampson - whose brilliant soprano ranges from shimmering choral solos to guitar- accompanied folk song - and baritone William Dazeley, who vividly conjures the inherent anger of the much-set Fear no more the heat o'the sun, one of five Shakespeare settings. Enveloped by drums and saxophone, tenor James Gilchrist returns to SOMM for a stirring tribute to Nigeria's second-largest city, Kano. The composer herself provides exceptional accompaniment on piano throughout the album. Also returning to the label is Ex Cathedra under their inspiring conductor Jeffrey Skidmore to demonstrate again a rare versatility and the most beautiful of choral sounds while reveling in the punchy, rhythmic vivacity and telling colors of Thwaites' music. Thwaites' previous release on SOMM was the premiere recording of the concert version of her musical co-written with Alan Thornhill, Ride! Ride! (SOMMCD 017) which featured Keith Michell as the 18th-century religious and social reformer John Wesley. "The strength of Alan Thornhill's libretto and the sheer variety of Thwaites' music combine to create a compelling aural drama", said Gramophone.